I've been having troubles with a printer all day. It needs to print--and ONLY print--to some DVDs. Not burn them. And it's been finicky, and randomly shut down, and at one point my mac--yes, that's right, I'm using a dear old Mac to do this--it just refused to print anything anywhere. "Error while printing" was the only message it gave. I deleted prefs, I tried this, I tried that...finally I did a google search, under "error while printing mac osx."
It led me to a help page on the Mac website, where it suggested:
Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/).
Type: ls -la / | grep tmp
Look at the resulting text. If it matches the following line (which would indicate that /tmp is still present) then this document does not apply to you, and you should stop here and try another troubleshooting path.
lrwxrwxr-t 1 root admin 11 Jan 15 11:00 tmp@ -> private/tmp
The timestamp following "admin" will reflect the current date.
If you do not see the line above, then type:
sudo ln -s /private/tmp /tmp
Enter your administrator account password when prompted, the press Return.
I hate directions like this. They make no sense, they do not tell you what it is you are doing. They could have put "dance a jig and say booga-booga three times" and I would have done it, because to me it makes just as much sense as what I did.
But worse than that: it worked. Like a dream. The printer is humming along, happy as a clam.
I think that's even more annoying. And I'm not sure if it's simply because I've hit my head against the wall of my own ignorance, or if it's really bad user support. A little of both, I suspect.
It certainly makes me want to break out the old linux manual..